Here are a few of the top questions we get asked…

The Basics

Pretzel is a cultural discovery app connecting globetrotters to local residents for 1-on-1 travel advice about their city AND language learners to native speakers for 1-on-1 practice.
In exchange for the free help you get in Pretzel, simply pay-it-forward by giving help to other users who want advice about where you live or who want to practice your native language.

Anyone can use Pretzel, but you can especially benefit if …

  • you love to travel, but seek experiences that go beyond the typical tourist traps.
  • you just moved to a new city and want to meet new people who speak your language(s).
  • you are currently enrolled in language courses or using language-learning apps and software, but don’t have the confidence to actually speak the language.
  • you previously studied a foreign language, but don’t have enough opportunity to strengthen or maintain those skills.
  • you like meeting new people for networking, for friendship or just for fun. (If this describes you, make sure you browse in "helper only mode”)

Instead of paying for a tutor or travel agent for help, think of Pretzel like a café full of cool people from all over the world who are smiling and waving at you to join them at their table. Each conversation has the potential for advice, improvement, inspiration or even a lasting real world connection. Pretzel merely provides the venue – the rest is up to you!

Check out our advice for getting the most out of Pretzel.

Short answer: less stress and more fun. Long answer: The pressure of understanding and formulating responses is minimized with the Pretzel approach of turn-by-turn video message because you can re-watch received messages and re-record replies before sending. Plus, you don’t have to deal with schedule or time zone hassles when connecting with people from all over the world.

Short answer: less overwhelming and more surprising. Long answer: With Pretzel you connect one-on-one with real people who speak your language(s) and live in the places you want to visit. You’re no longer solely at the mercy of suggestion algorithms and the same top 10 search results that every other tourist has read. Since you’ll be connecting to people outside your bubble, the recommendations you get might open you up to experiences you never would have even known to search for.

Core Functionality

First, connect to your Facebook, LinkedIn or Google accounts (note: Pretzel will never publish anything without your permission). Next, answer a few quick questions and choose a profile photo.

After completing your profile, you’ll start browsing in one mode:

  • Language Mode for practicing a language you want to improve
  • Location Mode for getting advice about a particular country or city
  • Helper-only Mode for meeting new people from all over the world

Every user browses a stack of photos of people they can help and people who can help them. Simply drag a photo to the right if you want to talk to a person and to the left if you don't. If both parties want to connect, a chat is opened. We keep user profiles a mystery while browsing and reveal who is helping whom only if a connection is made.

When browsing, tap the drop-down at the top of the screen. You’ll see recent language or location searches saved in the list, but you can add new ones by tapping “add practice language” or “add a location.”

To minimize confusion about who should initiate, the language or location expert’s pre-recorded greeting video is sent automatically to start each chat. After that, it's up to the pair to decide where the conversation goes. Check out our list of tips for ensuring good video quality.

It’s possible that the person unmatched you or deleted their account. However, the more likely reason is the app’s design. Pretzel aims to encourage active conversation, not collecting connections. That’s why the person getting help has 48 hours to reply to the expert’s greeting video before the connection disappears. And so that your feed doesn’t get cluttered, all videos sent in Pretzel disappear after three weeks. If any conversation is idle for more than three weeks, there will be no more videos in the feed and the entire connection will disappear. (If you enable push notifications you’ll get a reminder before a connection disappears.)


Because we’ve just launched! We’re adding new users, locations and languages every day. You can help us spread the word by sharing our download link.

You’re first to the party! Since we just launched, we encourage you to swipe right frequently to increase your chance of making new connections.

Don’t worry! While we don’t yet have an “un-do” option, you’ll probably see their face again sometime.

If you are feeling chatty one day and reach your daily send message limit, use Extra Messages to continue messaging without interruption. Once you buy them, Extra Messages are yours to use whenever you wish. We also occasionally drop a few free Extra Messages in your bank as a reward from time to time. :)

To review or edit your profile, tap your profile picture in the bottom right corner when the navigation bar is visible. Select the left tab to view your profile and languages and make any changes.

When browsing, if you see an offensive or inappropriate photo, tap the three lines at the bottom of the picture to report it and block the user. Once you’ve matched with someone, you can report & block the user or a video they sent you by tapping the three vertical dots at the top of the screen.

Other Stuff

No, Pretzel is not a dating app. The swiping mechanism is just a simple and fun way to ensure that both parties agree to chat.

Pretzels are a light, yet filling snack that we associate with meeting new people. That might be at a party, at a communal table in a beer garden, at a sporting event or even on an airplane.

We have spent so much time baking this app for you that we haven't had much time to think about baking pretzels. Submit your favorite here: [email protected].


Have more questions?

Drop us a line and we'll get back to you soon!